Air pollution and climate change: two sides of the same coin

Over the last few weeks, I have seen and read many articles reporting the good, but not good enough, carbon progress that is being made by various sectors and nations.

As a transport planner working for Marston Holdings, a national technology company, I am increasingly being asked by our predominantly local authority clients how our services and goods can support their net-zero ambitions.

This seems to confirm that central government will be heavily reliant on local authorities to deliver national net-zero targets who, in turn, will ask their suppliers for assistance.

Suppliers that fail to proactively meet this re-packaged demand for sustainable solutions will find it more and more difficult in the marketplace.

Marston’s decarbonisation plans are anchored around our fleet electrification and the delivery of operational efficiencies across the company’s diverse portfolio of transport and enforcement activity.

I have often highlighted the link between air quality and climate change and used this blog to promote their co-benefits. For example, the way that technology-led transport schemes such as clean air zones and school streets reduce key pollutants such as NOx and particulate matter result in lower levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

cars on road

Last week the Royal Society published a report on the effects of net-zero policies and climate change on air quality.

Its opening statement sums it up nicely saying that ‘Climate change and air pollution are related issues that merit a coordinated policy response.’

Central government needs to provide local authorities with the tools they need to fight climate change and air pollution.

One such tool is the power to enforce moving traffic offences using camera technology.

This power has been in place in London for many years and is now being extended to the rest of England. Many successful schemes are based on this approach and the environmental co-benefits are starting to be articulated.

One such scheme can be seen in London. According to John Galsworthy, Assistant Director Parking at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham: ‘Marston Holdings has played a major role in helping to deliver our ground-breaking South Fulham Traffic Congestion and Pollution Reduction Scheme which is enabling us to demonstrate the cause and effect of traffic measures on air quality.

‘On a daily basis the scheme has resulted in around 8,000 fewer journeys per day over a 1km route whilst reducing carbon emissions by 1 tonne per day and NO² by 60%. This is improving the quality of life for our residents.’

To help local authorities explore the co-benefits of this type of traffic management, Marston Holdings has created a dedicated one-stop show for all moving traffic enforcement information.

We have also developed a moving traffic toolkit to support new schemes and help local authorities to maximise return on investment and realise the required environmental benefits.

For further information please contact Nick on 07767 833 034


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